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obama. he said we may not all look the same and may not have come from the same place, but we all want to move in the same direction toward a better future for our children and our grandchildren. that's "hardball" for now. thanks for being with us. "all in with chris hayes" starts right now. good evening, from new york. i'm ezra klein in for chris hayes. the white house pressroom, it is the most staged predictable room in washington. it is where spontaneity and surprise and things you didn't already know, it is where they go to die. but today, today something remarkable happened there. president obama made an unannounced appearance without warning and without a script. no script at all. to speak about race in america following the george zimmerman verdict. this was a genuinely important moment in obama i's presidency.
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we'll discuss his remarks with an incredible panel. here are his remarks in their entirety. >> the reason i actually wanted to come out today is not to take questions but to speak to an issue that obviously has gotten a lot of attention over the course of the last week, the issue of the trayvon martin ruling. i gave a preliminary statement right after the ruling on sunday, but watching the debate over the course of the last week i thought it might be useful for me to expand on my thoughts a little bit. first of all, i want to make sure that, once again, i send my thoughts and prayers as well as michelle's to the family of trayvon martin. and to remark on the incredible grace and dignity with which they've dealt with the entire situation. i can only imagine what they're
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going through, and it's remarkable how they've handled it. the second thing i want to say is to reiterate what i said on sunday which is there are going to be a lot of arguments about the legal issues in the case. i'll let all the legal analysts and talking heads address those issues. the judge conducted the trial in a professional manner. the prosecution and the defense made their arguments. the jurors were properly instructed that in a case such as this, reasonable doubt was relevant and they rendered a verdict. and once the jury's spoken, that's how our system works. but i did want to just talk a little bit about context and how people have responded to it and how people are feeling.
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you know, when trayvon martin was first shot, i said that this could have been my son. another way of saying that is trayvon martin could have been me 35 years ago. and when you think about why in the african-american community, at least, there's a lot of pain around what happened here. i think it's important to recognize that the african-american community is looking at this issue through a set of experiences and a history that doesn't go away. there are very few african-american men in this country who haven't had the experience of being followed when they were shopping in the
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department store. that includes me. there are, frankly, very few african-american men who haven't had the experience of walking across the street and hearing the locks click on the doors of cars. that happens to me, at least before i was a senator. there are very few african-americans who haven't had the experience of getting on an elevator and a woman clutching her purse nervously and holding her breath until she had a chance to get off. that happens often. and i don't want to exaggerate this, but those sets of experiences inform how the african-american community interprets what happened one night in florida. and it's inescapable for people
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to bring those experiences to bear. the african-american community is also knowledgeable that there is a history of racial disparities in the application of our criminal laws. everything from the death penalty to enforcement of our drug laws. and that ends up having an impact in terms of how people interpret the case. now, this isn't to say the african-american community is naive about the fact that african-american young men are disproportionately involved in the criminal justice system, that they're disproportionately both victims and perpetrators of violence. it's not to make excuses for that fact, although black folks do interpret the reasons for that in a historical context.
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they understand that some of the violence that takes place in poor black neighborhoods around the country is born out of a very violent past in this country. and the thpoverty and dysfuncti that we see in those communities can be traced to a very difficult history. and so the fact that sometimes that's unacknowledged adds to the frustration. and the fact that a lot of african-american boys are painted with a broad brush and the excuse is given, well, there are these statistics out there that show that african-american boys are more violent, using that as an excuse to then see sons treated differently,
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causecauses pain. i think the african-american is also not naive in understanding that statistically somebody like trayvon martin was probably statistically more likely to be shot by a peer than he was by somebody else. so, so folks understand the challenges that exist for african-american boys, but they get frustrated, i think, if they feel there's no context for it. and that context is being denied. and that all contributes, i think, to a sense that if a white male teen was involved in the same kind of scenario, that from top to bottom both the
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outcome and the aftermath might have been different. now, the question for me, at least, and i think for a lot of folks is, where do we take this? how do we learn some lesson from this and move in a positive direction? i think it's understandable that there have been demonstrations and vigils and protests and some of that stuff is just going to have to work its way through as long as it remains nonviolent. if i see any violence, then i will remind folks that that dishonors what happened to trayvon martin and his family. but beyond protest or vigils, the question is, are there some concrete things we might be able to do? i know that eric holder is reviewing what happened down there, but i think it's
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important for people to have some clear expectations here. traditionally these are issues of state and local government. the criminal code. and law enforcement is traditionally done at the state and local levels. no at the federal levels. that doesn't mean, though, that as a nation we can't do some things that i think would be productive. so let me just give a couple of specifics that i'm still bouncing around with my staff, so we're not rolling out some five-point plan but some areas where i think all of us could potentially focus. number one, precisely because law enforcement is often determined at the state and local level, i think it would be productive for the justice department, governors, mayors, to work with law enforcement
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about training at the state and local levels in order to reduce the kind of mistrust in the system that sometimes currently exists. when i was in illinois, i passed racial profiling legislation and it actually did just two simple things. one, it collected data on traffic stops and the race of the person who was stopped, but the other thing was it resourced us training police departments across the state on how to think about potential racial bias and ways to further professionalize what they were doing. and initially the police departments across the state were resistant, but actually they came to recognize that if it was done in a fair, straightforward way, that it would allow them to do their jobs better and communities would have more confidence in
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them and in turn be more helpful in applying the law. and obviously law enforcement's got a very tough job. so that's one area where i think there are a lot of resources and best practices that could be brought to bear if state and local governments are receptive. and i think a lot of them would be. let's figure out, are there ways for us to push out that kind of training? along the same lines, i think it would be useful for us to examine some state and local laws to see if it -- if they are designed in such a way that they may encourage the kinds of altercations and confrontations and tragedies we saw in the florida case, rather than defuse potential altercations. i know that there's been commentary about the fact that the stand your ground laws in
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florida were not used as a defense in the case. on the other hand, if we're sending a message as a society in our communities that someone who is armed potentially has the right to use those firearms, even if there's a way for them to exit from a situation, is that really going to be contributing to the kind of peace and security and order that we like to see? and for those who resist that idea that we should think about something like these stand your ground laws, i just ask people to consider if trayvon martin was of age and armed, could he have stood his ground on that sidewalk? and do we actually think that he would have been justified in shooting mr. zimmerman who had
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followed him in a car because he felt threatened? and if the answer to that question is at least ambiguous, then it seems to me that we might want to examine those kinds of laws. number three, and this is a long-term project. we need to spend some time in thinking about how do we bolster and reinforce our african-american boys? and this is something that michelle and i talk a lot about. there are a lot of kids out there who need help who are getting a lot of negative reinforcement, and is there more that we can do to give them a sense that their country cares about them and values them and is willing to invest in them?
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i'm not naive about the prospects of some grand new federal program. i'm not sure that that's what we're talking about here, but i do recognize that as president, i've got some convening power, and there are a lot of good programs being done across the country on this front, and for us to be able to gather together business leaders and local elected officials and clergy and celebrities and athletes and figure out, how are we doing a better job helping young african-american men feel that they're a full part of this society and that -- and that they've got pathways and avenues to succeed? i think that would be a pretty good outcome from what was obviously a tragic situation, and we're going to spend some time working on that and thinking about that.
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and then finally i think it's going to be important for all of us to do some soul searching. you know, there have been talk about should we convene a conversation on race? i haven't seen that be particularly productive. when politicians try to organize conversations. they end up being stilted and politicized and folks are locked into the positions they already have. on the other hand, in families and churches and workplaces, there's a possibility that people are a little bit more honest and at least you ask yourself your own questions about am i wringing as much bias out of myself as i can? am i judging people as much as i can based on not the color of their skin but the content of their character?
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that would, i think, be an appropriate exercise in the wake of this tragedy. and let me just leave you with a final thought that as difficult and challenging as this whole episode has been for a lot of people, i don't want us to lose sight that things are getting better. each successive generation seems to be making progress in changing attitudes when it oncos to race. doesn't mean we're in a post-racial society. doesn't mean that racism is eliminated. but, you know, when i talk to a malia and sasha, and i listen to their friends and i see them interact, they're better than we are. they're better than we were on these issues.
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and that's true in every community that i've visited all across the country. and so, you know, we have to be vigilant and we have to work on these issues and those of us in authority should be doing everything we can to encourage the better angels of our nature as opposed to using these episodes to heighten divisions. but we should also have confidence that kids these days i think have more sense than we did back then and certainly more than our parents did or our grandparents did, and that along this long, difficult journey, you know, we're becoming a more perfect union. not a perfect union, but a more
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perfect union. all right? thank you, guys. now you can talk to jay. >> did you talk to the martin family, plchl president? >> we're going to have full analysis of president obama's remarks with melissa harris perry, joy reid, and james peterson up next. stick around. [ male announcer ] if you're taking multiple medications, does your mouth often feel dry? a dry mouth can be a side effect of many medications but it can also lead to tooth decay and bad breath. that's why there's biotene.
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we have an amazing panel lined up tonight to talk about the president's remarks. their reaction and their analysis is up next. which is why he's investing in his heart health by eating kellogg's raisin bran®. mom make you eat that? i happen to like raisins. [ male announcer ] invest in your heart health. now that's what i'm talkin' about. [ male announcer ] with kellogg's raisin bran®. so i can't afford to have germy surfaces. but a fresh sheet of bounty duratowel leaves this surface cleaner than a germy dishcloth. it's durable. and it's 3 times cleaner. so ditch your dishcloth and switch to new bounty duratowel. [ male announcer ] the earth moves around the sun.
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♪ but man moves the earth. ♪ with best-in-class torque and best-in-class towing, these are some of the bold, new ram commercial trucks -- built to tilt the axis of capability. guts. glory. ram. when trayvon martin was first shot, i said that this could have been my son.
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another way of saying that is trayvon martin could have been me 35 years ago. and when you think about why in the african-american community, at least, there's a lot of pain around what happened here, i think it's important to recognize that the african-american community is looking at this issue through a set of experiences and a history that doesn't go away. >> almost a week after the not guilty verdict came down in the george zimmerman case, the president today delivered the most powerful and compelling remarks. compares himself to trayvon martin during a deeply personal impromptu speech on race in america. joining me now is a great msnbc contributor, melissa harris
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perry. james peterson. and joy ann reid. james, i wanted to begin with you. what did you think? when this came, it was a normal day. we were creating this other show then this speech happened. what did you think? >> it's been a very, very emotional week, right? we had the verdict at the top of the week. i saw a prescreening of "fruitvale station" in the middle of the week. i was sensitive when he was talking about his own personal experiences. normally when i see middle class, upper middle class black folk talk about their racial experiences not being able to catch a cab or being followed in the store, i think of the more brutal forms of racial discrimination like stop and frisk or the disparities in the prison industrial complex. but i think for the president to shed some light here, for me, just it made me very, very emotional at this particular moment. it added on to all the efforts of people across this country have been organizing. added on to all the scholars and thinkers and people writing
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about this verdict and trying to wrestle with it. it was a powerful moment. >> melissa, one of the things i thought was incredibly striking about the speech was much of it was not presidential authority. a lot of that speech, i mean, he's in the briefing room but there's no teleprompter, there's no script. and he's talking not about his powers as president, in fact, he kind of shies away from it. he's talking about his sort of personal experience and the authority of his own heritage. it was a very different kind of speech, honestly, i've ever seen him give on anything else before. >> it will undoubtedly be part of what he'll be critiqued about. he'll be critiqued from the right for having talked about this at all. he'll be critiqued from the left for not talking about presidential power and authority. >> that's already happening. >> that is where it will happen. but part of what the president did today in that sort of groping authentic conversation where you saw him saying, i don't have all the answers here, i'm not quite sure, heck, have you noticed racism in america, big problem, you know, multiple generations, i don't have all the answers.
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what i did have this sense of is the conversation that has been happening in tens of thousands of african-american households around the country, and in fact, my mom reminded me to be clear about this, it's not black parents. it's parents of black children. not all of whom, themselves, are black, right? so the parents of black children all around this country have been having these conversations and suddenly you felt, oh my gosh, that's conversation was happening in the white house. they were groping about how to talk to sasha and malia about it, how do we as parents and elders in the community in addition to being president and first lady think about where we stand in this moment? i agree, james. normally i don't really care much if you can't hail a cab. whatever. today he drew the link. he said the same discriminatory things that make it hard for me to be in a certain situation of retail or catching a cab are the same things that make it harder for me to buy a home and get a decent, you know, education. and are the same things that could on any given evening lead to the death of my child and that was pretty stunning.
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>> and i thought that was actually in a lot of ways the key of it. there's been a lot before, a discussion about the kinds of speeches the president gave in 2008 during the philadelphia race speech when he was trying to bridge these different worlds and speak from his very unique experience. there's been a lot of talk about speeches like the one at morehouse which is more about him speaking to the african-american community. this was a different kind of speech in that he was speak from the african-american community to the broader country trying to convey that experience in a way that people who maybe don't access is easily can here. >> right. unlike the race speech in 2008, he wasn't trying to balance the two accords and say, well, the white perspective, there's this, and from the black perspective there's that. he was saying, no, all the country needs to realize if barack obama, the man sitting right there in that blue tie were to take off the periwinkle blue tie and put on a hoodie and walk through sanford, florida, he'd be perceived precisely the way trayvon martin was. if you, ezra, and james, changed
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into hoodies, yourselves, and walk down the street, the way each of you would be perceived by society would be completely different. he's asking people to examine why and examine that and recognize that for african-americans, every little slight, it's like a thousand little cuts, not being able to get a cab, yeah, that's not the end of the world. it's a perception even minorities -- we're not talking about all white cab drivers but whether you're dealing with another minority or somebody who is white always being perceived as lesser, eaven if you're the president of the united states and have the power and grand year and power of the office, at the end of the day to a lot of people you're another black man and someone less than them. that's something people don't understand because they don't experience it and don't have to experience it. >> after 9/11 you did not have to explain why people would be feeling post-traumatic stress even if they didn't live in manhattan. people upd understood that sense of vulnerability, you could be attacked just for who we are, which is how we are. >> everyone got it. >> we had that shared sense.
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he was trying to convey that same sense of in this moment, it feels like that. >> we're going to talk about exactly that in a second. coming up, we'll take a look at the last major speech given by president obama in race in america. how that speech from five years ago in philadelphia, how that differed from his remarks today. next. he used to be really rough around the edges, but he's totally changed. changed man. [ laughs ] changed man. i mean it took some time, but i softened him up. mm-hmm. thanks to tide plus downy now his clothes are always super soft and clean and he is totally huggable... just like one of my teddy bears.
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i just ask people to consider if trayvon martin was of age and armed, could he have stood his ground on that sidewalk?
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and do we actually think that he would have been justified in shooting mr. zimmerman who had followed him in a car because he felt threatened? and if the answer to that question is at least ambiguous, then it seems to me that we might wan to examine those kinds of laws. >> that was president obama today suggesting that stand your ground laws should, in fact, be examined in the aftermath of the george zimmerman trial. and despite those words, today's remarks by the president left little role for new policy. while the president spoke with a lot of authority when relating his own experience, he was much more tentative when he spoke as the president with the power of that office about what actions might be taken. >> we're not rolling out some five-point plan, but some areas where i think all of us could potentially focus. i think there are a lot of resources and best practices
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that could be brought to bear if state and local governments are receptive. i'm not naive about the prosp t prospects of some grand new federal program. i'm not sure that's what we're talking about here. i haven't seen that be particularly productive, when politicians try to organize conversations. >> the table with me are melissa harris ferry, james peterson and joy reid. joy, i thought this was a really striking thematic in this speech because he, like, ticked through everything he could possibly do here. he talked about law enforcement, said that's really state and local. he talked about larger programs to help black youth. he said, i'm not sure, i'm not naive about that. he even said a conversation, a conversation coming from politicians. that also might be counterproductive. there was, i thought, in the speech, a really notable gap between the sort of the personal pain that was in the more individual portions of it and
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then what president obama was saying as president he thought he could productively do. >> right. and can i first volunteer to answer the president's question of what would have happened if a black teenager, 18, 19 years old had shot dead a non african-american basically white neighborhood watchman you'd have people on the right saying a black thug murdered and gunned down another american. >> he would have immediately been thrown into jail. >> we have data on stand your ground laws and the defense doesn't work as well if -- >> rush limbaugh's next show would have been about black thugs roaming the street killing people. in 1963 when kennedy grave his great race speech, there is no federal remedy, voting rightsing a or civil rights act style remedy for this. given power by gun laws at the state level.
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if i'm afraid of you, gun laws in my state level allow me to kill you dead and it's the prosecutor to prove i wasn't afraid of you. that's the problem. what the remedy is this time is similar to 50 years ago which is action among citizens. people need to organize themselveses. they need to remember that 2014 is an election year. maybe not presidential, but an important one. these state laws can only be taken down by state politician who are voted for by us. >> yet as you invoke the 50 years ago, we were talking about this earlier, june 11th, 1963, president kennedy takes to airwaves because the birmingham children's crusade has occurred. children marching, water, fire hoses and dogs. he said we can't say 10% of population, african-americans, you cannot have that right, your children can't have the chance to develop whatever talents they have. the only way they're going to get their rights is go into the streets and demonstrate. we owe them and ourselves a better country than that. here's the deal. 50 years later, second term of
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an african-american president, after we have shown out at the polls in record numbers, when our child is shot dead, unarmed with anything more than skittles, these laws allow his killer to be a free and armed man. >> that's right. >> so i think we are called in this moment, and if not just i think presidential cowardace, 50 years later are we failing, have we failed to do what president kennedy said 50 years ago? >> in some ways we have. the dream defenders are going to see the governor of florida i think is an important corollary to what you're talking a ining here. the importance of the president saying what he said, about the juxtaposition, this is something we're saying in the conversations we're having. this is something we've been saying in the african-american community from the beginning of this process. he is in solidarity with the african-american community at that particular moment. i think joy is also right that it's not ultimately about the president but what we have to do coming out of this which is looking at the movement of state's rights. look across the political issues, when you look at the war
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against women, when you look at the underfunding of government. you have to really look at states rights. and that's really the forefront that the battle has got to be fought at this point going forward. i think the president not giving these federal overarching policies is important because the movements that are going on, the organizations that reverend al organized over the course of this weekend, those things are important to me to stay focused on that energy as well. >> i want to contrast this with the philadelphia speech in 2008 which we have a clip from right here. >> for as long as i live, i will never forget that in no other country on earth is my story even possible. it's a story that hasn't made me the most conventional of candidates, but it is a story that has seared into my genetic makeup the idea that this nation is more than the sum of its parts. that out of many, we are truly one. the legacy of discrimination and current incidents of
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discrimination, while less overt than in the past, that these things are real and must be addressed. not just with words, but with deeds. by investing in our schools and our communities. by enforcing our civil rights laws and ensuring fairness in our criminal justice system. by providing this generation with ladders of opportunity that were unavailable for previous generations. >> melissa, i want to talk to you about the difference in the ambition of that speech and this one today right when we come back. [ tap ] ♪ 'cause tonight [ tap ] ♪ we'll share the same dream ♪ ♪ at the dark end of the street ♪ ♪ ♪ you and me ♪ you and me ♪ you and me ♪
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melissa, what i think you see from the speech from 2008, the famed philadelphia race speech is part of the premise of that speech, if we have the right political leadership, the country at this point is ready to move forward, have adult conversations about race and heal some of these wounds. then today president obama comes out in this much more toned down, no sort of high-flying rhetoric, no fancy teleprompter, and says, actually, if
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politicians lead this discussion, it's going to go awry. the difference between the theory on the race in '08 and 2013 is telling about the experience he's had as president. >> that was president obama before someone asked for his birth certificate. that was, right, that was -- >> before he told him, you lie. >> right. that was president obama before every move that he made became where he ended up carrying the burden of race. senator obama 2008 and president obama 2013 do share an optimism about the american project which is actually infused within the history of african-american philosophy and writing and political action. you know, i have been quoting and reading and thinking a lot about dubois who said it was impossible to pull together the blackness and the americanness, that it was a struggle that would render that dark body apart. and you see the president always hopeful, always optimistic, and yet that kind of sadness that i think has overcome so many of us who are optimistic about the
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american project and self-government in a multiracial society, nonetheless felt this week. >> president obama today said there are a lot of young african-american men out there who need help and when we get back here, i want to talk to someone who actually provides that help for a living to find out what president obama's remarks meant to them, next. "that starts with one of the world's most advanced distribution systems," "and one of the most efficient trucking networks," "with safe, experienced drivers." "we work directly with manufacturers," "eliminating costly markups," "and buy directly from local farmers in every region of the country." "when you see our low prices, remember the wheels turning behind the scenes, delivering for millions of americans, everyday. "dedication: that's the real walmart" [ whirring ] [ dog barks ] i want to treat more dogs. ♪ our business needs more cases. [ male announcer ] where do you want to take your business? i need help selling art. [ male announcer ] from broadband to web hosting to mobile apps, small business solutions from at&t
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to prove to you that aleve is the better choice for him, he's agreed to give it up. that's today? [ male announcer ] we'll be with him all day as he goes back to taking tylenol. i was okay, but after lunch my knee started to hurt again. and now i've got to take more pills. ♪ yup. another pill stop. can i get my aleve back yet? ♪ for my pain, i want my aleve. ♪ [ male announcer ] look for the easy-open red arthritis cap. we need to spend some time in thinking an how do we bolster and reinforce our
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african-american boys? and this is something that michelle and i talk a lot about. there are a lot of kids out there who need help who are getting a lot of negative reinforceme reinforcement, and is there more that we can do to give them a sense that their country cares about them and values them and is willing to invest in them? >> that was president obama earlier today asking what we as a country, what we as a country can do to further invest in our young african-american men. joining me now is cari white, co-founder and executive founder of the brotherhood sister soul, a not for profit group working for young people in poor communities. still with me, melissa harris perry and james peterson and joy reid. i want to go to you because you live this every day.
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that speech, when you heard it, what was in there for you and the work you do? >> the speech resonated with me in two ways. first, it's really essential we look at the importance of supporting our boys, of supporting young men to redefine masculinity in manhood, to walk away from conflict, to learn what success looks like, to provide opportunities and access, to really put our hands on them to love and support and guide them so they can become strong men and all too often we don't do that work. we don't do the necessary work of building strong men. it's a lot harder to build strong men than to lock somebody up. we look at the city of new york and look at spending $is15,000 educate a child and $210 child to incarcerate a child, it shows where the priorities are. it's a very important point, that is something we wanted to hear, but the second part is we also have to look at the policies connected to that. it's not just about building strong boys but it's about what the educational system looks like. are there job opportunities? very specifically, what's going
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on with the prison system as well? when we look at those two issues, it's the policy about building strong boys and providing access and opportunity. >> i don't think people realize this actually all that well. when you look at unemployment among black males right now, you are looking as you can see on the chart here, at a precisely doubled unemployment rate to white males. 7.4% for white males and 15% for black males. if it was 15.4% unemployment nationwide, we wouldn't talk about a recovery. we wouldn't talk about a recession. we would talk about a genuine disastrous tragic depression. that is actually the reality, though, among black african-american males. >> it's even worse when you look at the young black male population. if you look at the 18-year-old to 25-year-old population, for instance, in a city like new york, only 45% are either working full time or are in college. the rest are transient employment or unemployed. this is a major, major issue. the reason there isn't enough investment our argument would be is because that population has not been deemed important enough
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and that's the central issue of the trayvon martin decision. our lives are not seen as important enough, whether it's employment, whether it's education or whether within the criminal justice system. >> there's this emphasis, joy, in american politics on talking about policy in this very colorblind way. we don't like to have any talk about a policy that would affect one group or another, particularly in economics. there's no racial stimulus so to speak, right? but there is, when you do that, you do miss much, much elevated problems in certain communities. >> no, absolutely. you miss it because it's more systemic than just unemployment. before a young man is unemployed, you have a whole system that's failing them. our educational system where you have literally dropout factories, is the technical term for them, because they're graduating less than 50% of their black male students. if you think about there are schools where 29% of the black men, the black boys in that skol are making it to graduation. when you're having systemic problems of health care and also mental health. if you're living in a community where you're seeing people die, where you're seeing people shot, where you know people who have been shot, where you have family
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members, systemic violence around you, what about your mental health and your inability to learn, to be productive, to grow and then just the sense of lack of value? you know, my son and i talked about this after the trayvon martin shooting. this sort of sense, that, wow, what is my value? does anyone value me? i think that plays into this sense of black men as a visitor rather than a citizen. >> one thing i want to put in, trayvon martin was apparently as a human the person who respected people -- he was apparently a natural friend to rachel jeantel. he apparently was great big cousin. he had gone out to get the candy for the younger kid. and despite divorce had a close and mentoring and loving relationship with his father. all the things we would need. and he was shot and killed. think part of the despair we heard in the president is he has been very much the president who has said, we have to do better. even when everything was -- he was behind the gate in the community. >> that's part of the idea that the president could have been trayvon 35 years ago.
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melissa, we have to say good-bye to you now. i know you have to run. you're going to be on tv later tonight. you're going to co-host a special tonight with alex wagner in. >> in the next hour. >> looking forward to this. on saturday and on sunday mornings at 10:00 p.m., you also host a television show on this network. you can see a lot of melissa harris perry this week and you should. more with our panel right after this. so far. [ herbie ] eh, hold on brent, what's this? mmmm, nice car. there's no doubt, that's definitely gonna throw him off. she's seen it too. oh this could be trouble. [ sentra lock noise ] oh man. gotta think fast, herbie. back pedal, back pedal. [ crowd cheering ] oh, he's down in flames and now the ice-cold shoulder. one last play... no, game over! gps take him to the dog house. [ male announcer ] make a powerful first impression. the all-new nissan sentra. ♪ f-f-f-f-f-f-f. lac-lac-lac. he's an actor who's known for his voice.
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there are very few african-american men in this country who haven't had the experience of being follow red when they were shopping in a department store. that includes me. there are, frankly, very few african-american who haven't had the experience of walking across the street and hearing the locks click on the doors of cars. that happens to me, at least
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before i was a senator. those sets of experiences inform how the african-american community interprets what happened one night in florida. >> james, i thought this was one of the most powerful moments in the speech because i do think -- what he was responding to there, it seemed to me, was a sort of implicit tendency for people to say, there are these good african-american males like the president, people who grow up to be the president and these bad ones and pictures of them in ho hoodies and him saying no. >> he collapsed that distinction. >> in his own person. >> that's really, really important. again, it mirrors conversations that we've been having, that people have been having in the barbershops, in the public sphere, the black public sphere publicly. at the end of the day, president obama has an impossible mission i feel when it comes to these kinds of situations. the problems for black america are high sort of capacity problems that require complex
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solutions, require sustained effort. so the president can sort of get involved and sometimes can get lost in the weeds of that. he gets critiqued on the left and right. he gets critiqued on left and the right. what we want from police preside this president is honest talk about painful situations. the thing that was most significant, he acknowledged the pain of the black community. i know some people think that's symbolic. for me that's substantive. for my son, asking me, what is going on this whole zimmerman thing, what is the value of my life? for him to see the president of the united states sort of engage at that level was very, very powerful. it was the endorsement of the black pain and that's just important. >> khary, this is the amazing, horrifying, too, but amaze thin was not the violent one that night, not running around the community with the gun, not the one following people and not the one in the end who shot another man dead. i think there's been this imples s sit assumption that he might
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have been doing something there. this case properly understood should show how unbelievably toxic those assumptions are. >> absolutely. it goes right to the core of the work my organization does, the brotherhood sister soul in terms of redefining manhood. when george zimmerman gets out of that car in addition to whatever racial animus he's feeling, he's also feeling bravado and getting out with aggressive, violent intentions. so in america we don't have a black male problem with violence, we have an american male problem with violence. we have a celebration of violence in this country that runs throughout different ethnicities. last year the fbi reports there were 13,000 homicides in this country. disproportionately black at 50%. 45% for white males which means we're dealing with a nationskor violence. what is america doing to confront its obsession with violence connected to manhood, patriarchy and sexism as well? >> we should note for a lot f people on the right, to
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understand this from their point of view, have been determined to remake trayvon martin into the boogeyman that they, you know, they believe he ought to be in order for this narrative to work for them. the idea of releasing cell phone pictures. teenagers and sort of the silly things they say in a text message, photos on a cell phone, and insisting he is a thug, that he deserved to die, that he was exactly the boogeyman black male that they want to believe the that so many young black men are though he was not. his brother is a college student, congressional intern. same parents. these are middle class people. the idea they couldn't even accept him as a victim. he's still even in death even after the trial has to be a thug and the bad guy? it says a lot about this country. >> that goes to what was powerful about that point in the speech where he kind of says this is not -- you want to assume, you want to feel better, you want to be humanized by saying these people are violent and it's okay even in a generalized way. you can't because it could be any number of people you know. khary white from the brotherhood sister soul organization. joy reid. james peterson.
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thank you all so much for being here tonight. it was helpful to talk to you. chris will be back on monday. up next is on msnbc special on president obama and trayvon martin. good night. if trayvon martin was of age and armed, could he have stood his ground on that sidewalk? >> the president, the zimmerman trial and race. >> trayvon martin could have been me. >> literally we all looked up and there was the president. >> unannounced the president walking into the briefing room. >> it was regarding the george zimmerman trial. >> he simply gave us the world view of trayvon martin and parents of trayvon martin. >> the african-american community is looking at this issue fthrough a set of experiences. >> one stunning moment, he said, trayvon martin could have been me. >> another way of sating that, trayvon martin could have been me. >> this might not have been the right politics. >> we have a polarized country. >> given how

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All In With Chris Hayes
MSNBC July 19, 2013 5:00pm-6:01pm PDT

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TOPIC FREQUENCY Trayvon Martin 10, Spiriva 6, Florida 6, Zimmerman 5, Kellogg 5, Melissa Harris Perry 4, Melissa 4, Philadelphia 4, New York 3, Copd 3, Michelle 3, James Peterson 3, Msnbc 2, Sasha 2, Kennedy 2, Raisins 2, Herbie 2, Peterson 2, Biotene 2, Mr. Zimmerman 2
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